Everyone has a story to tell. I firmly believe that. And if you know me, you know I’ll want to hear it. One of my best friends once told me I’d probably love being an Uber driver (aside from the actual sitting and driving) so I could talk to people from all walks of life all day and hear their stories.
In fact, I always sit in the front seat of the Uber/cab so I can chat it up with the driver. One time in Vegas, I left my brand new camera in a cab we had hailed down. If you’ve ever been to Vegas, you know retracing a cab you’ve hailed down is like finding a needle in a haystack. Luckily, I had sat in the front seat and was able to track down the driver since I remembered his name. It took my sisters and me calling a number of cab companies, but we found him and he returned my camera just in time for the start of Cirque Du Soleil. (Sometimes being a Chatty Cathy comes in handy).
When Gary and I travel, we typically meet new people with whom we stay connected. Our first experience was traveling to the Island of St. Maarten and meeting a young guy who was a deep-sea fisherman. He was vacationing by himself and had some amazing stories (if you’ve ever watched Deadliest Catch, that’s what he does). I love how traveling allows you to meet new people easily- we’ve met people on tours, excursions, at concerts, or just lounging by the pool. I am always so intrigued by people’s stories and how their life circumstances have brought them to the place they are. There is so much to learn by listening.
Perhaps more than anything, teaching has taught me how deeply people just want to be heard. My favorite part about teaching was hearing their ideas and feelings through conversations, journals, or papers. I got to see how vulnerable and open people could be when talking one-on-one or when they transferred their thoughts to the written form and let go of perceived judgment from sharing with the whole class.
A few years ago, I left teaching for a year to put out my first book, start my publishing company, and spend more time with my kiddos. I said then that I wasn’t sure if the leave was permanent.
It wasn’t. I had more to do and more to learn.
After a year of putting out my book and getting my company off the ground, I took a new teaching job. This time both of our kids were school-age and I was ready to be back in the classroom and juggle my two careers. Over the next three years, I found my personal voice as a teacher. I became a site facilitator working closely with the administration. I enrolled in my Master’s program and connected with students from all over at vastly different points in their lives. I published client books and learned a lot about the myriad of aspects that come with publishing a children’s book, a photography book, and a novel. I was a student and an educator soaking up more lessons these past few years than I ever had before.
This past spring, with the gift of being able to slow down, everything started to click. I realized that I could make meaningful interactions remotely by working with people on their writing. I could take my love for hearing people’s stories, my love of writing, and my desire to have a flexible schedule by focusing on publishing and helping clients bring their own stories to life.
So this June I hung up my teacher hat and stepped into publishing full-time. And while I’ll always miss the daily interaction of working in a high school setting, I am so excited to continue working with clients and helping them share their unique stories with the world. I plan to volunteer in the classroom and stay connected with students and colleagues as they will always have a big chunk of my heart.
I have no doubts that every step I’ve taken in my journey has been guided. My resume is checkered with a number of different teaching positions at a variety of schools. Each environment gave me new insights, new lessons, and broadened my perspective. The circumstances that brought me to each seemed so random at the time, but when I look back and realize what each environment gave me, I feel so grateful and in awe of the way life is woven together.
We all have a unique story to tell. If writing a book has ever tugged at your soul, that’s your intuition talking. When we allow our intuition to fully guide us on our journey, we always get to the place we need to be.
Head to my (*newly redesigned*) website and let me help bring your story to life.